Platform for an International Real Estate Agency: WT Group

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10 min

Our client is an international real estate agency WT Group, the official representative of the world's largest developers. Together we have created a new web platform, which is aimed to provide WT Group clients with the best project search experience, increase their management productivity, simplify leads follow-up and help them further develop on the global market.

 Our client, WT Group Agency was founded in 2014. For nearly 10 years, the team has been helping its clients with their real estate searches - both as new homes and as projects for investment. 

Today, the company is recognized as one of Kazakhstan's leading international real estate agencies. Among its partners are such developers as Berkeley Group, Aldar, Ellington Properties, and many other giants of the global development market.

Such status requires an appropriate image and digital presence. The company needed a new product that could properly present the reputation of the team to potential buyers and investors. WT Group managers at the same time needed a user-friendly interface for working with leads.

 What the Client Wanted

 The WT Group team chose WEZOM because we have an extensive portfolio of development and Real Estate projects. At the time of the client's request, he already had a rudimentary website that did not meet the requirements of the business. A new platform was needed - more stylish, more functional, and more informative. 

 But it was not only about aesthetics or UX, the project was also supposed to simplify the managers' processing of requests and projects, and partially automate the document flow. All these processes were complicated and inconvenient because they were tied to a third-party CRM system. The imperfection of the software and gaps in integration required the managers many hours of routine work: they had to process projects and form offers manually. 

 The goal of WT Group is to provide potential buyers/investors with complete information and individual support to select the best real estate offers on the market. This goal dictated the key requirements for the product:

  • Integration with existing client and property databases; 
  • easy navigation for all user roles;
  • effective and convenient presentation of real estate properties: detailed, but concise, not requiring unnecessary actions and pages. 

 The WEZOM team was tasked with creating a new corporate web platform:

  • Development of a web solution for a real estate agency with custom functionality.
  • Creating an admin panel, which would solve the problem of integration with CRM and help automate routine work.

 Such a concept already allowed us to talk about planning the architecture of the project and the choice of the technology stack.

 Choice of Technologies and Solutions

 Our team decided to implement the product based on Laravel, a PHP framework that proved itself as a solution for medium custom corporative and eCommerce platforms. An important plus was the fact that the developers know Laravel well, the projects on it are very easy to maintain and scale. In general, the technology stack on this project can be called "classic" for web development:

  • Laravel
  • jQuery

 Why should image products not be created on popular engines and website builders? We are convinced that custom development guarantees a long product life cycle, allows the realization of any ideas, and gives the business the freedom to develop without the likely constraints of the platform. In the end, it is the best solution for the long haul. 

 How We Built the Work

 The client came in without a requirements specification. At the start, there were only a few references and a general vision of the development result, which still needed to be crystallized. That is why on the zero sprint we started with the basics: we collected and worked through the requirements, studied the market, and gathered ideas. The manager and designers shared their suggestions, and experiences and discussed the development concept with the client.

The result of this work was a product prototype with a prescribed structure, which we put in the form of a mind map. This prototype, after approval, allowed the team to go through the normal production cycle:

  • Developing the brand archetype and Tone of Voice, defining "pirate metrics" for the product (AAARRR) and business model;
  • rendering of the interface design;
  • layout;
  • programming;
  • testing.

 We moved quickly enough with the client through the stages of gathering requirements and agreeing on the structure and design of the new platform so that development moved into the technical mainstream without delay.

 How the Reporting Was Done 

 The team broke down the entire amount of work on the project into sprints and undertook their phased implementation. Each sprint is a working "sprint" of one to three weeks (depending on the complexity of the tasks), at the end of which the team presents to the client the results of the work and prepares a detailed report. We implemented this project from scratch to a "clickable" site in 10 sprints: one "zero" sprint and 9 technical sprints. 

No atypical reporting forms were required on this project, and communication went smoothly. But we always try to keep our partners informed of development progress and share plans for the next sprints. This helps us "synchronize our watches" with the client and fine-tune the development vector in time. 

 What We Have Developed

 Within a few months, the team went through the full development cycle - from the concept search to the release of the finished product. The new corporate website of WT Group has a light and easy-to-read design, a set of useful features for clients, and a user-friendly admin panel. Let's analyze this solution’s special “features” in more detail.

 Presentation for Investors:

  • On the main page, visitors are greeted by an interactive map of the world, on which all currently available projects by country are marked. The user can click on any country and immediately go to the catalog of projects.
  • Another key element of the home page is the clear search field with the most important filters: country, property type, cost, and type of object.
  • The Investments section aims to present available projects for B2B and large investors. Its purpose is to give a potential investor an idea of the project and maximize the path to consultation with a WTGroup manager. 
  • The card of each project in the catalog gives not only the actual data (number of objects, areas, date of delivery, etc.) but also the required amount of investment and projected profitability indicators.

 Citizenship and Residence Screening 

 Purchasing real estate abroad often allows you to find a new homeland through citizenship or residency programs. Many countries, such as Cyprus and the Dominican Republic, have long earned a reputation as welcoming harbors for cosmopolitans from around the world.

For a convenient and informative display, we have thought of a separate reference table for citizenship and residency programs in different countries. Programs are structured by regions of the world - from Europe to the Caribbean. 

The user receives comprehensive information on naturalization opportunities in each country (required investment amount, term of obtaining, features, and advantages of the status). It is possible to go directly to the individual citizenship program card from the block and find out the details.

But the most valuable feature of the new reference block – is the ability to compare independently within one table up to three different programs for residence permit and naturalization. This is done literally in three clicks of the mouse, but the result saves the user a lot of time.

 New Admin Panel

 For company managers, the new platform is primarily an opportunity to minimize manual and routine work. The old system did not provide tools for convenient work with projects and requests. Client data was being pulled from the boxed CRM system, which was poorly optimized for business requirements, and also had limitations on distribution.

A custom admin panel solved the problems of integration with the CRM without "crutches" and inconveniences. Initial data import to the site from the CRM and export requests there from the front end are done automatically. 

Managers can now create/edit projects and work with the client base right in the admin panel. The ability to generate PDF files from the admin panel, which can be used for personal work with clients, has been added. 

Among other things, the admin panel has a clear interface and a lot of small amenities for employees. All these features have been coordinated with the employees of the WTGroup and tested for implementation through local user tests:

  • Search by project and facility with multiple filters, 
  • navigation by request type and request subject, 
  • ability to manage mailing lists and view responses to job openings, etc. 
  • Easily integrate additional tools (Google Maps, SEO solutions, machine translation, etc.).

Development Results

The client received a modern corporate web platform for promotion in the global market. It properly communicates the company's mission and values, attracts and (importantly) holds the attention of potential investors, and provides visitors with accessibly structured information, while shortening their way to consulting a manager. 

The new admin panel has greatly simplified the lives of agency managers, allowing them to move away from manual data input/output to more creative and strategic tasks. 

In terms of UI/UX, the new product meets the key requirements of the client: simplicity, usability, and accessibility for the user. According to plans, the project will continue to develop in several languages and acquire new functionality, its technological base allows moving in almost any direction. 

For WEZOM, working on the WT Group platform was an experience of collaboration with a real estate agency of global scope. We tried to give our partners the best technical solutions, which, we believe, should become part of the success story.

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